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AC employees travelling in Y getting upgrades to J

AC employees travelling in Y getting upgrades to J

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Old Aug 14, 19, 6:59 am
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AC employees travelling in Y getting upgrades to J

Some people just don't seem to know when to quit. I was waiting at the gate yesterday for my flight from FRA and overheard a really awkward interaction between one of the gate agents and what appeared to be an AC employee travelling on a travel pass (not sure what they're called, but the discounted flights they get). The employee was travelling in Y with her three teenage children, but from what I gathered, she had been upgraded earlier to J by the gate agent "as a favour".

However, the AC employee proceeded to request all of her children be upgraded into J as well, as they were tired. The conversation went on and on - the gate agent first offering to downgrade the employee back into Y to sit with her kids, and citing numerous reasons why she wasn't able to upgrade them, including that her children were not dressed appropriately (all in sweatpants and sweatshirts). However, the employee would just not take no for an answer and kept pressuring the gate agent. I could tell the gate agent was not comfortable with the situation, but eventually she acquiesced and upgraded everyone! I suspect this was because boarding had already commenced and she simply no longer had the time to deal with the employee.

I definitely sensed someone was in the wrong and from the mannerisms of the gate agent that someone could potentially get reprimanded.

Anyways, just something I had observed. The J cabin wasn't very full and I don't think there were many people requesting upgrades. Is it a regular occurrence for an AC employee travelling on a heavily discounted fare to be upgraded, or would they generally have to purchase a significantly reduced J fare?
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Old Aug 14, 19, 7:58 am
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There are many types of passes for AC employee and friends/family travel, each with its own conditions and priority.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:04 am
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Originally Posted by Jebby_ca View Post
There are many types of passes for AC employee and friends/family travel, each with its own conditions and priority.
If the AC employee with the 3 kids had the pass that entitled the parent and the 3 kids to J, that employee would not have been having this "awkward interaction" with the GA, no?
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:10 am
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Also, before boarding, the employee had told the gate agent that "she'd get the [kids] to change", but I noticed all she did was make the eldest one switch off a pair of sneakers for a woman's shoe with a heel.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by jcamp028 View Post
Also, before boarding, the employee had told the gate agent that "she'd get the [kids] to change", but I noticed all she did was make the eldest one switch off a pair of sneakers for a woman's shoe with a heel.
There are dress codes for each cabin for employees traveling on passes.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:18 am
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Originally Posted by jcamp028 View Post
.....

Anyways, just something I had observed. The J cabin wasn't very full and I don't think there were many people requesting upgrades. Is it a regular occurrence for an AC employee travelling on a heavily discounted fare to be upgraded, or would they generally have to purchase a significantly reduced J fare?
I'd be surprised if it was an employee as opposed to someone traveling on the employee's passes. Most employees are quite clear on the requirements and restrictions associated with uses the various travel passes.

There are various types of travel passes with varying stand-by priorities, but to sit in the J cabin, the leisure travel pass has to be one of those with the J cabin privilege. There are no guaranteed J cabin passes, and all employee leisure travel passes are on stand-by basis.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the employee whose passes were used will be given a reminder of the employee pass travel policy and that employee will have some 'splainin' to do.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by jaysona View Post
I'd be surprised if it was an employee as opposed to someone traveling on the employee's passes. Most employees are quite clear on the requirements and restrictions associated with uses the various travel passes.

There are various types of travel passes with varying stand-by priorities, but to sit in the J cabin, the leisure travel pass has to be one of those with the J cabin privilege. There are no guaranteed J cabin passes, and all employee leisure travel passes are on stand-by basis.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the employee whose passes were used will be given a reminder of the employee pass travel policy and that employee will have some 'splainin' to do.
..or the employee may be "given the opportunity to seek employment elsewhere". Airlines are very sensitive about abuse of passes, and it's not uncommon for employees to be terminated, especially if (1) the pass user pressured the gate agent at a time when the gate agent was trying to close out the flight, and (2) the pass user's family violated dress code standards.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 11:16 am
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It sounds like a huge sanctity violation.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 11:26 am
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My take away from this thread is that the GAs really do notice that I'm dressed like a bum when boarding for J.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 11:29 am
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Given how tightly AC now controls upgrades to prevent abuse, I cannot help but think that the GA will get a please explain if it was not an "earned" upgrade, and presumably knowing this, the GA also carefully documented how it went down.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by WaytoomuchEurope View Post
My take away from this thread is that the GAs really do notice that I'm dressed like a bum when boarding for J.
Let them notice. And if you are traveling on a pass, let them give you grief.
As for me, I pay for J largely so I can travel in greater comfort. I don't know how I would respond if a GA ever made me feel uncomfortable for travelling in sweats, but it wouldn't be pretty.
(sorry, I know this is totally off topic)
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Old Aug 14, 19, 11:49 am
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Originally Posted by SYM View Post
Let them notice. And if you are traveling on a pass, let them give you grief.
As for me, I pay for J largely so I can travel in greater comfort. I don't know how I would respond if a GA ever made me feel uncomfortable for travelling in sweats, but it wouldn't be pretty.
(sorry, I know this is totally off topic)
Employees traveling on passes have dress codes that are FAR more strict than revenue pax.

You'd have to be missing an important article of clothing before they'd say anything to you.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by fin 645 View Post
Given how tightly AC now controls upgrades to prevent abuse, I cannot help but think that the GA will get a please explain if it was not an "earned" upgrade, and presumably knowing this, the GA also carefully documented how it went down.
GA wasn't happy and spent what seemed like quite a bit of time typing something up after the situation had been dealt with.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 12:17 pm
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There was a while during their conversation where I didn't even realize it was an AC employee/family, and just thought it was some passenger demanding an upgrade because her teenage children were tired. I had toyed with the idea of interjecting for fun and asking for an upgrade on the basis of travelling with two younger, much more tired children
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Old Aug 14, 19, 12:22 pm
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All boils down to one question: Was employee (and kids) entitled to J or not?

A) Yes, employees/standbys are often entitled, as a matter of policy, to the best available seat on whatever flight they are standing by on, with some different rules/exceptions. It's entirely possible that they were entitled to J per policy, but the AC agent (perhaps outsourced?) wasn't familiar with policy and employee needed to be firm and stand their ground regarding the upgrade (think if you had been erroneously skipped on the upgrade list, and it's the same feeling).

B) Also entirely possible that employee was not entitled to fly in highest cabin. Different airlines have different restrictions (Service charge differences, age restrictions in cabin, employee must fly with pass rider, OAL employees not eligible for premium, etc). In that case, the gate agent was bullied into giving the upgrade.

Either way, if the behavior of the passenger bothered you, a short, concise note to AC mentioning the experience won't hurt, especially if B) were true. I just find it hilarious that employee made one of her kids change into heels
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